First-ever direct investment from international institutional investors outside of Japan
TOKYO – October 20, 2021 – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) announced that it raised additional financing from Axiom Asia Private Capital as a part of an extension of the lunar exploration company’s Series C investment round, following its initial Series C funding announcement on August 4, 2021.
Axiom Asia Private Capital is one of Asia’s leading venture capital and private equity funds, specializing in Asian private fund investing, direct investing, and secondaries, and this is ispace’s first direct investment from international institutional investors, marking an important milestone for the company’s evolution to expand its global presence.
In preparation for its first lunar mission, which is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2022[i], ispace announced in July that it began the assembly of its lunar lander flight model at an ArianeGroup facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany. In parallel, ispace has commenced its full-fledged development of lunar landers for subsequent missions to establish a high frequency delivery service to the Moon. The funds from ispace’s Series C investment round are planned to be applied toward ispace’s second lunar mission which is planned to be launched in 2023[ii], as well as to support the development of its Series 2 lunar lander for its third mission which is currently planned to be launched in 2024[iii]. The Series 2 lander for the third mission is currently being developed in the United States.
■ Comment from Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace, inc.: “As ispace broadens its scope of operations in Asia and around the world, it’s our goal to continuously attract new stakeholders into the cislunar ecosystem. With this investment from Axiom, we’re very pleased to receive our first direct investment from an international institutional investor”
ispace, inc. (https://ispace-inc.com/)
ispace is a lunar exploration company with over 160 staff and offices in Japan, Europe and the United States. ispace builds small commercial lunar landers, aiming to provide a high-frequency, low-cost delivery service to the Moon. Aspiring to be a gateway for private sector companies to bring their businesses to the Moon, ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support companies with their entry into the lunar market. The company’s first lunar mission is planned for 2022[iv] with a second mission planned for 2023[v]. On its first mission, ispace’s lander is planned to deliver payloads for the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as commercial payloads. The lander for the first mission is currently undergoing final assembly at an ArianeGroup facility in Germany and will launch from the United States on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. ispace is also part of a team led by Draper, which was selected by NASA to compete in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program. Both ispace, inc., and ispace EU were awarded contracts to collect and transfer ownership of lunar regolith to NASA, and ispace EU was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program which seeks to extract water on the Moon.
[i] Planned as of October 2021.
[ii] Planned as of October 2021.
[iii] Planned as of October 2021.
[iv] Planned as of October 2021.
[v] Planned as of October 2021.